Contributors: Karen Jeannette, Research Fellow and Yard and Garden News Editor, Michelle Grabowski, Extension Educator, and excerpts from the 2010 Minnesota Gardening Calendar.
- Pay special attention to your houseplants to keep them looking healthy this winter. Sun is weaker and days are shorter, so move plants to brighter windows if possible. Combat low indoor humidity by grouping plants together, checking their soil frequently and watering thoroughly with room temperature water whenever the soil feels dry a little below the surface. Wipe stems and leaf surfaces (upper and lower) with a soft wet rag to remove dust and allow maximum light penetration. Find more information in the Gardening Information houseplants section. -- This is a 2010 Minnesota Gardening Calendar Tip.
- The low humidity of most MN houses means that many fungal
and bacterial leaf spots and blights do not thrive on houseplants during the
winter months. Root rots however can be a problem for overwatered plants. To
avoid root diseases, use pots that have drainage holes at the bottom. Choose a
potting media that provides appropriate drainage. Before watering, test the
potting soil with your finger to determine if the plant needs water. Heavy
water logged soils that are never allowed to dry out will encourage root
rotting fungi and can result in the wilting and death of infected plants. Find more information about houseplant diseases in the Gardening Information houseplant diseases section. --Michelle Grabowki, Extension Educator
- Spread sand on icy sidewalks, rather than commercially prepared ice-melting chemicals, all of which are potentially damaging to nearby plants. Even fertilizer (sometimes suggested for its ice melting properties) can burn plant roots where it accumulates. To get sand to adhere to the ice, dampen it with a little hot water then throw it sideways, so it skitters across the ice. In spring, sweep it off hard surfaces for re-use. It poses no harm to surrounding soil. Find more about plants and ice-melting chemicals by viewing the brief: Effects of De-Icers on Trees and Shrubs -- This is a 2010 Minnesota Gardening Calendar Tip.
EventsThe Northern Green Expo, January 6-8, 2010
The Minnesota Green Expo is now The Northern Green Expo and one of the largest Horticulture Expos in the nation. It is geared towards all sectors of the Horticulture/Green industry (arborists, florists, nurseries, greenhouses, landscapers, turf specialists, groundskeepers, etc.) More information can be found at: http://www.northerngreenexpo.org/